How will charting my cycle help me get pregnant?
Real Mom Problem
“I have been trying to conceive for a little over two years. I'm thinking about charting. Help and advice is appreciated. I'm feeling really down and need something new to focus on.”
- 1. Keeping track of your temperature, and other physical signs, can give you a better understanding of your body
- 2. When you're aware of ovulation, you can time sex for your most fertile times
- 3. Charting may help you identify and address fertility issues
Real Mom Solutions
Understanding your cycle, and when you're most fertile, can be a valuable tool in your journey to get pregnant. Get woman-to-woman advice on how charting might help you conceive.
Charting Helps You Understand Your Cycle
Charting has helped me better understand my cycle. It's great to know what is going on with your body. I know how long my luteal phase is and when my average ovulation date is so I know when my fertile dates are so I can better plan sex. I got a pre-ovulation dip last cycle and it was so neat to see. I was very opposed to charting before I started. But after a rough anovulatory cycle (confirmed by blood work) and not knowing what was going on with my body, I decided to give it a try and it has helped greatly. It's a great tool and resource to better know your fertility and what's going on in your body. I highly suggest it.
Charting most definitely helps with conception! Many women are under the false impression of the "cookie cutter" cycle. What I mean by that is a 28-day cycle with ovulation on Day 14 and a 14-day luteal phase. Even if a woman is aware that her cycle is longer than 28 days she still may assume that she ovulates on Day 14 OR has a 14-day luteal phase. Many times (including my own situation) this is not the case! The only way someone can properly "track their cycles" is by charting their basal body temperature so that they know the exact length of their luteal phase. Without knowing this many women make the mistake of timing intercourse based on the Day 14 ovulation myth, OR the 14-day luteal phase concept, and completely miss their prime conception opportunity.
I know so much more about my body and my cycles by temping. I have started to use OPKs to give me an added heads up on when ovulation is coming for better planning on when to have sex. It is all about taking everything your body is telling you, along with your temps, and making sure your timing is right so your chances go up on catching that egg.
Charting Helps You Time Sex Properly
I believe charting does help if you know what you are doing and are able to temp every day at the same time. I always kept track of my periods but never actually charted until a friend of mine told me to try it and use a BBT (basal body thermometer). I had no clue what I was doing when I started but learned from reading online and asking questions in a support group. I also talked to my doctor about this and she said it would be a great thing to do since she felt that it could help and it would be cheaper than sending us to a fertility specialist to find out that there was nothing wrong but our timing. We tried for two years and finally conceived after five months of charting. Not only did it help us conceive, it helped me learn a lot about my body that I never knew before.
Charting helps you become more aware of what's happening in your body. You can identify issues that you may not have noticed such as a short luteal phase, or not ovulating at all. When you combine it with ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), it helps you time sex properly. Since not everyone has the stereotypical 28-day cycle with ovulation on Day 14, it is possible to be having sex on the completely wrong days! OPKs give me the knowledge that ovulation is coming and charting confirms that it did happen. I don't think charting should be done alone. OPKs need to be used in conjunction in order to have the best chances of conception.
Charting helps you to understand your body and your cycle. It will also help you time sexual intercourse appropriately to best increase the chance of conception. I highly recommend charting for women who have been trying to conceive longer than six months. I say longer than six months because many women are blessed with the ability to bump hips with their spouse in the hallway and conceive, so incorporating charting too early in the process can add unnecessary stress to a process that should have as little stress as possible.
I found out by charting that I ovulate very late. If I didn't chart I probably would have stopped having sex way before I ovulated, missing my opportunity.
Charting Helps You Identify Issues
Charting your cycle helps you understand so much about your body. Honestly, every woman should do it, even if it's just for a little while. Through charting my basal body temperature and cervical mucus, I've been able to see when my thyroid is out of whack (temps are low) or if I have estrogen issues (lots of cervical mucus when I shouldn't) or progesterone issues (short luteal phase). I also know why I'm bleeding or spotting--is it my period or something else? Charting helps me know where I am in my cycle and eliminates some of the questions that can come up. You never wonder if you might be pregnant even though you had what appeared to be a period - your temps will give a huge clue to a possible pregnancy. If they went down, you aren't pregnant and that bleeding that seemed like an odd period was a period. If they stayed up, hmmm, testing to see is a good idea. It also helps me know when I should be having sex and when it's OK to stop since I already ovulated. Charting is also helpful for birth control. It does take more effort than just taking a pill, getting a shot or getting something put in you, but then there is nothing to "get over" or wait for it to leave your body when you do want to start trying. All you have to do then is start timing sex right. So many women seem to have issues conceiving because of the birth control they were using, I wish I'd known more about charting to avoid pregnancy.
I charted using FertilityFriend for a year. I showed my doctor my charts, and we both saw I was not even ovulating. We were able to take care of the problem right away, and I got pregnant the next month!
If there's nothing wrong, charting is the best way to help you conceive. If there is something wrong, charting can help you find it. You may think you're timing sex right, but in reality you aren't. You may not even be ovulating and charting can show that to you. You may find that you're suffering recurrent miscarriages; getting pregnant but it doesn't stick. Maybe you're not producing enough fertile cervical fluid. If everything is normal, it will help you get pregnant as fast as possible. If there IS something wrong, it can help you identify it and get help for it, thereby helping you get pregnant faster. Not to mention, the rules can be reversed after you have the baby and it can be used as an extremely reliable form of birth control (providing the parents don't take a chance).
Some Women Aren't Charting Fans
I don't believe charting helps to conceive. It's like taking notes for a test when you have all the answers, but doesn't mean you will pass that quiz. I think for those concerned whether they are ovulating or not, if you chart for a month or two it may ease your mind to see fertile cervical mucus as well as temp increases together, just to get your answer that you ARE ovulating. However obsessive charting every day, every month, for years only adds more stress and doesn't help conception.
I'm not certain that charting helps to conceive but it is very helpful in learning more about your own body. We are all so different and after charting for awhile I was able to really learn how my body functions. It is comforting every month to see obvious signs of fertility and knowing that ovulation is coming.
I guess for some it helps you to pin point when you ovulated, especially if you have no idea when you do in the first place. As for me it didn't help me conceive. I never had the patience.